How to Beat Diabetes Burnout
“I felt as if I couldn't do it anymore. So I didn't,” explains Sarah Kaye, a mother of two, now 31 years old, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a preschooler.
Sarah is talking about burnout. Diabetes burnout. The phrase can mean so many different things to anyone who lives with any type of diabetes, and it can be triggered by any number of events or by nothing more than the daily physical and mental burden of living this disease.
“In my own practice,” explains William Polonsky, MD, founder of the Diabetes Behavioral Institute and author of Diabetes Burnout. “I have met far too many people who, because of diabetes burnout, have chosen to ignore their diabetes for years or, in some cases, decades. They are male and female, young and old, new to diabetes and veterans of the disease. They are not bad, stupid, or weak people. They are normal folks who are struggling with diabetes for understandable reasons. And their struggles take many shapes.”
While some feel helpless and defeated by the disease, explains Dr. Polonsky, others’ burnout may be the result of denial an "never truly accepting the reality of diabetes in their lives."
But all forms, no matter the severity or the duration, qualify as burnout.
For Sarah, burnout is something she has endured at least five or six times in the past 27 years of pricking her fingers, counting carbs, taking insulin and hoping it’s somewhat close to the amount her pancreas would’ve given her in an effort to avoid frustrating high blood sugars and exhausting low blood sugars.
“I think of burnout as the Continue reading